Compass Chronicle

Options Program | Summer 2019

It’s hard to believe that the 2018-2019 school year has come to a close!

Speaking for our whole Options team, it has been a pleasure to work with our families this school year. It has been wonderful watching our Options program continue to flourish and provide homeschooling support to so many families.

As I reflect back on the year, several highlights come to mind. Families have built and strengthened relationships with their EFs through their regular connections. Friendships have been formed on field trips and in club meetings. Staff and learning coaches had the opportunity to mingle at our several Coffee with Compass locations. A wealth of knowledge about homeschooling and curriculum options was contributed by learning coaches during our Options Roundtables. Connections were made among Options families at park days, giving the scholars an opportunity to play and learning coaches a chance to chat and even discuss and check out curriculum and material for next year. Vendor Relations has continued to add numerous vendors in the areas Compass serves and areas we will be serving next year. Parents and EFs reviewed individual scholar progress during their report card conferences. And we wrapped up the school year with a celebration of scholars at our 8th grade promotions, high school graduations, and our virtual Options End of Year Awards highlighting our Firebird scholars!

This quarter has allowed us to continue to witness the growth and learning that have been taking place as you guide your scholars at home. Whether it’s by attending live classes at a learning center, logging into a virtual seminar, digging through a textbook, or diving into a monthly kit, your scholars have been learning amazing things! This newsletter gives us the opportunity to reflect on the school year and to highlight some of those amazing things. You will also get to meet a couple of our families and Educational Facilitators, along with spotlights on some of our newest vendors.

Have a fabulous summer!

Kristy Smith, Director of Options Learning


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Table of Contents

  • What's New?
  • Family Spotlight
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Vendor News
  • Vendor Spotlight
  • Scholar Work Samples
  • Counseling, Engagement, and Exceptional Scholar Services Newsletters
  • Share your Story
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Mrs. Clark takes a moment to talk to CCS about what homeschooling looks like for their family!

Q: Please introduce your family and tell us a little bit about yourselves as a family! What does a typical day in the life of the Clark family look like?

LC: We are the Clark Family. We live in beautiful Southern California and have been homeschooling for 11 years. There really is no typical day for our family which is exactly why we love homeschooling. Our days mostly start with easing into the day and getting household chores done. Then on to our school work and hopefully some fun in the sun. We love heading to the beach or Disneyland in our free time!

Q: What led you to your decision to homeschool? How long have you been homeschooling? Are there unexpected challenges or joys that you have encountered in this journey? Please share something that your scholars have accomplished that would not have been possible if your scholars had been in a classroom every day.

LC: Our oldest child started asking us to homeschool him when he was six years old. Once we started researching the benefits of homeschooling, it was an easy decision. We pulled our two oldest out of school a few months later, and the rest is history. We’ve had to relocate and travel quite a bit over the last 11 years so homeschooling has been such a blessing. Now, Morgan (our 11th grader) has been able to graduate a full year early and even was able to start her own business. It’s amazing how far ahead she is compared to where she might have been had she gone to traditional school.

Q: Why did you choose Compass? What is something about Compass that you particularly like?

LC: We chose Compass because we loved their character and what they offer the kids. We loved our classes at the Orange County Learning Center and the teachers who poured their hearts into the kids.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to a family considering pulling their child out of the traditional classroom to homeschool?

LC: My advice for someone who is considering pulling their child out of the traditional classroom is to trust your intuition and to remember that you are the parent. You do still have a choice in your child’s education and taking a new approach could be just what they need to excel in ways you never knew they could.

Q: Of the 5 ARTIC traits (Achievement, Respect, Teamwork, Integrity, Communication), which do you feel your scholar best exemplifies?

LC: Integrity

Q: How does your scholar exemplify that trait?

LC: Morgan exemplifies each of the ARTIC traits but most of all she reflects integrity. She has always been extremely humble and kind and always chooses to do what’s right over what’s easy.

Q: Does your scholar exemplify any of the other traits to a lesser degree? Will you give examples of how?

LC: Achievement - Morgan has pushed through any difficulties and still completed her schooling a full year ahead of schedule.
Respect - Morgan is always kind and respectful to peers and teachers.

Q: What would you say was your biggest goal for your scholar this year? Academic, social, personal? How did (your scholar) accomplish that goal?

LC: Our biggest goal this year was to graduate ahead of schedule. Although it added to her workload, Morgan was still able to graduate early and with excellent grades. She’s ready to take on the world!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

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This month CCS is also honored to interview Mrs. Arbini, mother to our overall Firebird of the Year!

Q: Please introduce your family and tell us a little bit about yourselves as a family! What does a typical day in the life of the Arbini family look like?

LC: We have three kids. Tanner is in 8th grade, Addison is in 5th grade, and Macy is in 2nd grade. The kids would also add that our family includes our dog, Penny and their hamsters Link, Zelda, and Izzy! Each of our kids is very different in their learning style, so our days vary quite a bit! In general, we start the day altogether. I give them an overview of the schedule of activities and lessons for the day and cover things we are all learning together. This usually involves reading aloud, memorization, or a game. After this, two of them break off to do their independent work, while I work one-on-one with the other child. Then we rotate. After lunch, we usually go to our additional lessons and classes and spend time outside.

Q: What led you to your decision to homeschool? How long have you been homeschooling? Are there unexpected challenges or joys that you have encountered in this journey? Please share something that your scholars have accomplished that would not have been possible if your scholars had been in a classroom every day.

LC: We started homeschooling in January 2016 because we thought our kids could benefit from an individualized education that emphasized their strengths and accommodated their unique learning styles. We wanted more time together as a family and a way to adjust our kids’ learning to their own pace and interests. One of the biggest challenges AND joys is flexibility. We have quite a bit of freedom in how and when we do our work. This was a bit of an adjustment at first because I was so concerned with getting everything done and the kids being “on track” that I tried to replicate traditional school just in our house. However, now that we’ve been at a few years, I realize that when the kids get large chunks of individualized attention, they can accomplish so much more in such a short amount of time, learn a lot, and have room for additional activities. When the kids were in a traditional classroom, they spent all day at school and came home with a lot of homework each evening. The freedom that homeschooling has allowed in our schedule has enabled our kids to pursue hobbies and interests that they wouldn’t otherwise have time for and incorporate them into their assignments and learning seamlessly. Addison loves to work with her hands and dive into projects such as embroidery, sewing, fiber arts, drawing, and baking. She also loves sports, organizing activities with friends, and reads for several hours each day. I can’t imagine she’d have time for such a varied and diverse education if not for the flexibility of homeschooling.

Q: Why did you choose Compass? What is something about Compass that you particularly like?

LC: Our main reason for choosing Compass was because of the Orange County Learning Center. The program there is amazing and my kids LOVE going there two days a week. Through Compass, I have a wonderful Educational Facilitator, Mrs. Beamish, that is always there to answer any questions I have. My kids get an individualized education within a community of friends, awesome instructors, and tons of support. I really love all of the unique learning opportunities and field trips Compass organizes and helps pay for. My kids have really enjoyed exploring and learning in these hands-on ways.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to a family considering pulling their child out of the traditional classroom to homeschool?

LC: Remember that homeschooling isn’t meant to replicate traditional school at home. Remind yourself why you made the decision, focus on the benefits when you get discouraged, and give yourself the freedom and grace to try things and see what works.

Q: Of the 5 ARTIC traits (Achievement, Respect, Teamwork, Integrity, Communication), which do you feel your scholar best exemplifies?

LC: Communication

Q: How does your scholar exemplify that trait?

LC: Addison has always had a way with words. She has a natural ability to notice non-verbal communication in others which allows her to see how someone may be thinking or feeling. She doesn’t hesitate to step into those situations to lend a helping hand or a word of encouragement. She is confident in speaking in front of a group of people and enjoys writing as well. This year she used her communication skills to participate in a campaign to raise funds to fight modern-day slavery and raised over $1500 by sharing her thoughts and information about human trafficking and inviting others to join her.

Q: Does your scholar exemplify any of the other traits to a lesser degree? Will you give examples of how?

LC: Achievement. Addison has very high standards for herself and an internal drive to do things well. She is very independent in her work and likes to achieve the best possible results. For example, with the prompting of Mrs. Beamish, she tirelessly worked on memorizing every single country in the world and can accurately label a blank world map! In her ASL class, she learned sign language and has spent hours at home studying ASL.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Compass family either about your family, about homeschooling in general, about any curriculum that you are using and love, or about a vendor that has done a particularly good job of supporting you in your homeschool journey?

LC: We’re so incredibly grateful for Compass and the OCLC for the amazing support and opportunities they have given us. Addison’s teachers at the learning center this year have just been amazing. She’s learned an astonishing amount about Science, History, and life from Mrs. Slobojan and Mrs. Beamish! Some of Addison's favorite vendors are Art + Soul Collective and Mrs. Somerville the ASL teacher at OCLC! As far as curriculum, Math-U-See and a wide variety of dice games have been a game changer in our math learning.

Q: What would you say was your biggest goal for your scholar this year? Academic, social, personal? How did Addison accomplish that goal?

LC: Given her bent towards achievement, our biggest goal for Addison this year was to focus on the difference between performance and learning. So this year we talked a lot about how getting things “wrong” is simply part of the learning process and doesn’t have anything to do with how talented or intelligent she is. Homeschooling has allowed us to talk and process during moments of frustration (both hers and mine!) which has been a huge gift. It has also allowed us to focus on truly learning rather than just continuing on without a full understanding of the material. Recently, I overheard her telling her little sister, “It’s okay. I used to get really upset at myself when I didn’t do something correctly. But if you always get everything correct, it means you aren’t really learning. Sometimes mistakes can be your best teacher!”

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This month CCS interviews Ruth Chavez-Rivera, Educational Facilitator

CCS: What is your job title and what are a couple of the things you do at Compass Charter Schools? How long have you worked for this organization?

Ruth: I meet the immediate needs of my scholars and their families by promptly answering questions and resolving issues. I reach out to families and scholars via connection meetings and support families with curriculum or method recommendations. I also meet the needs, questions and help other EFs. I collaborate in tasks and share methods and information with colleagues.

CCS: Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at CCs?

Ruth: As a homeschooling mother of 13 years, I am passionate about parents having freedom of choice in their children’s education. I love the vast array of educational opportunities that Compass Charter Schools offer their scholars and the invaluable support we give to their families. Many years ago charter school teachers made a huge a difference in our lives when they came alongside us and helped us through many educational challenges like the IEP process and now I am honored to offer that same kind of support and help to families that find themselves needing guidance and support.

CCS: As an educator, is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

Ruth: I encourage Learning Coaches and Scholars to constantly seek out the best educational opportunities that are available to them, never settle and always be passionate about their education. I advise they set goals and dreams and work diligently to achieve them. This leads to a lifetime of passion and success.

CCS: Share one thing about you would very few people know?

Ruth: I love watching documentaries, reading history journals of all kinds and eating all kinds of “Mexican” spicy candy!

CCS: What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

Ruth: We love to travel to historical sites. I have a bucket list of historical locations and I love checking them off! When not traveling, we also enjoy just hanging out at home.

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Happy Summer from the vendor department!

We have been hard at work adding new vendors and exploring vendors in Yolo and adjacent counties. We are looking forward to expanding the Compass family in these new counties for the upcoming year. Here is a list of new vendors added since March.

Service Vendors
A+ Tutoring Inc.- In-home tutoring services in the San Fernando Valley.

Amie D. Johnson- Educational services in Simi Valley.

Apex School of Movement San Diego- Parkour classes located in Kearny Mesa.

1 Art Megapixels School of Arts- Online art classes.

Bach to Rock- Musical instrument and singing lessons located in Encinitas.

California Sound Academy- Piano, guitar, violin, and other lessons in Irvine and Orange County.
Club Z In-Home Tutoring of Vista- In-home tutoring services located in Vista.

Double L Ranch- Horseback riding lessons in Bishop.
Drama Kids of North Orange County- Serving scholars in serving families in Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Cypress, Seal Beach.
Gregoire Combatives- Martial arts classes in Anza.
Kidz Rock LLC.- All-electric drum school in La Habra.
Mathnasium of Foothill Ranch- Math skills development and tutoring.
Mathnasium of Woodland Hills- Math skills development and tutoring.

Matrix Gymnastics LLC- Gymnastics classes located in Chatsworth.

My Math Whisperer- Math tutoring from 1st grade to pre-calculus in the San Gabriel Valley area.
Perfect 10 Gymnastics Training Center- Gymnastic classes located in Tehachapi.

Piecemakers- Sewing, crocheting, and knitting classes in Costa Mesa.

Rebecca Odum- Tutoring and educational services in the Los Angeles area.
Rock Tree Sky- Outdoor learning program located in Ojai.
SAM Academy Inc.- Programs in science, art, and music in Sanger.

South Bay Archery Lessons- located in Redondo Beach.

Swim to Shore- Indoor swim school located in Murrieta.

The Music Abode- Singing, guitar, and ukulele lessons in Santa Ana.

The Second City- Comedy, acting, and improv classes in Hollywood.

Materials Vendors
Eat2Explore Inc.- Cooking and activity box subscription.
Emotional ABCs Inc.- Emotional skills program.

Funnix LLC.- DVDs and printables for beginning reading and math.

LearningHerbs- Maker of Herb Fairy books.

Pin It Maps- Geography and history materials.

Rockalingua Inc.- Music-based Spanish learning.

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RD Enquine

RD Equine in Paramount, teaches horsemanship and horse husbandry lessons that include instruction in equipment and grooming activities, parts of the horse and bathing activities, feeding and care activities, communication and connection activities, and tacking up and possible mounted activities. Children learn empathy, animal care, passion for horses, strength, skill, and confidence. Courses are 5 weeks in length, Mondays and Wednesdays at 12pm and start dates are 2/18, 2/20, 4/1, and 4/3.

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Be a Maker Space

Be a Maker Space, founded by Zef Neemucawala, is an approved vendor for Compass Charters School. It was started with the aim to develop and sustain children’s interest in future careers. Be a Marker is located in the city of Upland, CA.

1252 Monte Vista Ave, Suite 9,
College Business Park,
Upland, CA 91786

(323) 686-2324

Mon to Fri: 11 am to 6 pm
Sat: 10 am to 3 pm Sunday- reserved for Events.

The mission of Be-A-Maker Club is to provide a safe space where children can make, explore and experiment. The courses run on a 6-week basis and they accept enrollment on a continuous basis. Current class time slots are 11.30 am and 4.30 pm Monday through Friday. The following are the courses that are offered:

  • CNC and Digital Woodworking minimum 1; maximum 2 makers

  • Laser Engraving and Cutting – minimum 1; maximum 2 makers

  • Electronics and Soldering – minimum 1; maximum 2 makers

  • 3D Printing – minimum 2; maximum 4 makers

The activities in the courses introduce Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts and Math along with traditional craft techniques. Learning is encouraged through making mistakes, observing others and exploration. The instructors play the role of a coach, encouraging the children to make their own design.

My son, who attends the Options program at Compass Charters, had an amazing experience at Be-A-Maker. The emphasis was not only learning the software of 3-D printing, but also learning the process of troubleshooting and the “how” machines work. He enjoyed the most making the design of the project he completed and that the 3-D printing class was tailored to his interest. The instructor was patient and helped my son to focus on the entire class period. He learned the process of how machines work and to troubleshoot them. As a parent, I loved the flexibility Be A Maker Club had to adjust the design of my son’s project to his interest This is a true space where he was able to learn a technical craft at an early age, and perhaps a long life skill. Summer opportunities include:

For the summer, we have 2 different programs.

1 - To be held at our makerspace in Upland. Details are here -

2 - To be held at Pitzer College with our non-profit partner Project Think. Details are here -

Connect with Be – A – Maker through

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These scholars were selected by their Educational Facilitators as exemplifying our core traits this year!

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Are you enjoying the educational experience at Compass? Tell us! We want to hear from you. Why did you decide to join the Compass family? Or, what do you love most about being part of our community? Share you comments and all of your wonderful experiences at Compass with us! Click here to share.
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Continue to Counseling, Engagement, and Exceptional Scholar Services Newsletters

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Compass Charter Schools

Visit our website for more information about our academic programs. Or contact Kristy Smith, Director of Options Learning, at

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